Archive by Author

Circuitous Travel~Part 8

15 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Following breakfast at the B&B, we again took the Tube into London.

Although I don’t have a lot to mention for this day’s events, what we did took quite a bit of time.

We did manage to be at Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. Unfortunately, we were so far back that we couldn’t see very much, as these pictures will show. But it was enough for us to claim to have seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace!

 

 

 

Victory Monument in front of Buckingham Palace

 

I don’t remember how long we stayed there, and how much we saw of it, but it was thrilling for us to be there.

In my memory notes that I wrote at that time, I said that we had lunch at Pizzaland! Perhaps that is a pizza restaurant that is wholly British, as I don’t remember a “pizzaland” in the U.S.

One other event we took in was wandering through the British Museum.

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 

I suspect our girls weren’t too interested in it, but Fred and I certainly were. While we, neither of us, are terribly interested in paintings, we both thoroughly enjoy sculptures. And the British Museum has quite a few of those for us to admire. Here is one picture of a stained-glass window – I’m not sure just where it was located in the museum, but it looks like the angel Gabriel telling Mary that God had chosen her to bear His Son, the Saviour of the World. Really beautiful.

 

 

When we first went to Heidelberg in 1980, Fred began asking what countries/cities we thought we would like to visit. Our Karen, at that point in time, was fairly interested in Egypt, even thinking of becoming an Egyptologist. We thought, since we were already half-way around the world from the U.S., we might just do that. We never did, unfortunately, but it was a good thought. And Karen never became an Egyptologist, either. All of that to say, that I have one picture we took of the Egyptian room in the British Museum.

 

Credit Google Search

 

 

I had been interested in Greek culture for quite a few years – Fred and I had even made a trip to Greece in 1969 – and so we were rather surprised to find many Greek “artifacts” in the British Museum. We’ve been told that there are more Greek antiquities in the British Museum than in Athens! Much to the Greeks chagrin! This one is a “Winged Victory Temple” and rather beautiful.

 

 

 

While I’m sure we saw many more things in the British Museum, unfortunately, these are the only pictures we took there.

Following that lengthy wandering around the museum, we headed back to the B&B to do some mundane thing like washing clothes! After all, we had already been on the road for over one week, and we were just about out of something clean to wear! So we found a laundromat and did that chore. But it was nice to have clean clothes.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 7

8 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

We had spent one week traveling around England, Scotland and Wales. The second week of our vacation (circuitous travel from Germany to the U.S.) was to be spent in London and surrounding areas.

Fred and I had spent time (vacations) in England and London previously, but our girls had not been there before. So this would be a new adventure for them. We were eager to show them all the sights.

Let the fun begin!!

That first day, following breakfast at the B&B, we took the Underground (Tube) into London.

Credit Google Search

 

The B&B wasn’t too far from a Tube station, so that was convenient. One thing we did, first, thing, was to get a Tube Pass for residents (not tourists, which was more expensive) – it enabled us to hop on and off the Tube whenever and wherever we were, without having to purchase a ticket for that particular ride. Our pictures were taken and attached to the ticket. We purchased the passes for one week. It was a great help, especially if we were in a hurry to make the train. It also allowed us to ride the red buses for in-town and the green buses for out-of-town travel without having to purchase a ticket for that ride.

After arriving in London, we did a lot of walking around the city, just taking it all in. We visited Westminster Abbey (something I understand is not allowed these days unless one is there to worship).

 

 

We saw Big Ben and the Parliament buildings – unfortunately, with the ever-present scaffolding!

 

 

We saw a delightful statue of Charlie Chaplin!

 

 

We saw the Cenetaph by Whitehall.

 

 

We spent some time in Trafalgar Square, with Lord Nelson. Magnificent column!

 

 

And we saw the back side of the Horse Guard building.

 

 

Of the two meals we had in town, lunch was at a Pizza Hut, and dinner/supper was at McDonald’s. Just getting our taste buds ready for our return to the States!

We had arranged to see the stage play “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie that evening.

 

Credit Google Search

 

Karen and I had been reading a lot of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, so this was of great interest to us. Fred and Janet found it to be quite entertaining, as well. “The Mousetrap” has been in continuous performances since it first opened in 1952. Wikipedia states it is: The longest running West End show, it has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012. The play is known for its twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.

After the show, we returned to Kew and our B&B via the Tube. It was a most fun and rewarding day in London.

The backyard of our B&B, by Kew Gardens.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 6

1 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

The following day was a busy one for us, as we made our way to London and the B&B where we were scheduled to stay for a week.

We left Llangollen and drove to Bath.

 

Credit Google Search and All That Is Interesting

 

We were fascinated by the Roman ruins of Bath. We didn’t know a lot about Bath – except for the fact that the Romans built public baths – but from Google search, I found:

Bath is a town set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture. Honey-coloured Bath stone has been used extensively in the town’s architecture, including at Bath Abbey, noted for its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows. The museum at the site of the original Roman-era Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple.

 

Credit Google Search and Everything Everywhere Travel Blog

 

 

I’m not sure we even knew there was Bath Abbey, universities, and other sites to visit. If we were to visit there now, we would take more time to see everything we could.

 

Credit Google Search and Pinterest

 

Being a great King Arthur fan, I was interested to learn, again from Google search, that

Bath may have been the site of the Battle of Badon ©. AD 500), in which King Arthur is said to have defeated the Anglo-Saxons. Hmmm.   I also found: Edgar of England was crowned king of England in Bath Abbey in 973, in a ceremony that formed the basis of all future English coronations.

I also found that Jane Austen lived in Bath with her father, mother, and sister Cassandra for five years – 1801-1806, and several of her books take place in Bath.

I really love this history stuff!!

Moving on…we had heard of/read about Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain for many years, so that was a “must see” on our list of things to do while in England.

 

Credit Google Search and EnglishHeritage.org

 

And so that was our next stop – Amesbury and Stonehenge. After having the stones described as “monoliths,” we were a bit disappointed to find that they weren’t as enormous as we thought they might be. Yes, they are huge, but not the towering stones we thought they would be. However, they were still quite impressive to us.

 

 

 

According to Englishheritage.org, Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.

 

Again, being a King Arthur fan, I was amused to see that many say the magician Merlin built Stonehenge. However, other sources say that he just added the headstone, and honored Ambrosius with it. So many speculations.

They also mentioned that Stonehenge has been the site of burials from its earliest time. It was also mentioned that the Salisbury Plain has been a sacred site in England for centuries.

While we weren’t able to walk around and through the standing stones, we were able to get more up close and personal that if we visited today. We’ve seen pictures of the area with a fence around it, to protect it from vandals. Pity.

Following our time at Stonehenge, we headed on to London. We dropped off our luggage at the Allen’s house, then drove to Heathrow to turn in our rental car. We then had supper at Heathrow and took the Tube to Kew Gardens, where the Allen’s house is located.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 5 Continues

17 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Our next stop that day was Caernarfon Castle. This amazing castle, while mostly in ruins, is a delight to wander through. It is also the sight for the investiture of the Prince of Wales.

 

Credit Google Search and Traveling with Krushworth

According to caernarfon.com:

Mighty Caernarfon is possibly the most famous of Wales’s castles. Its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest, and to this day, still trumpet in no uncertain terms the intention of its builder Edward I.

 Begun in 1283 as the definitive chapter in his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon was constructed not only as a military stronghold but also as a seat of government and royal palace.

 The castle’s majestic persona is no architectural accident: it was designed to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and the dream castle, ‘the fairest that ever man saw’, of Welsh myth and legend. After all these years Caernarfon’s immense strength remains unchanged.

 Standing at the mouth of the Seiont river, the fortress (with its unique polygonal towers, intimidating battlements and colour banded masonry) dominates the walled town also founded by Edward I. Caernarfon’s symbolic status was emphasized when Edward made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284. In 1969, the castle gained worldwide fame as the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.

 History comes alive at Caernarfon in so many ways – along the lofty wall walks, beneath the twin-towered gatehouse and within imaginative exhibitions located within the towers. The castle also houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Wales’s oldest regiment.

After perusing other Caernarfon websites, I was amused to find that the original “Prince of Wales” could not speak English – only French, since the “language” of the nobility then was French!

Prince Charles was “crowned” Prince of Wales in 1969 in the castle of Caernarfon.

 

Credit Google search and People’s Collection Wales

 

We had such a fun time exploring through the castle. Here are some pictures we took while there.

 

Investiture spot

 

Our girls in 1983

 

 

We stopped at a B&B in Llangollen for the night.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 5

10 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

After a wonderful breakfast at the St. Valery Guest House in Edinburgh, we loaded up the car and headed to Wales.

Looking at the map, it is quite a distance from Edinburgh to the Eastern border of Wales. It has been so many years since we made this trip, that I honestly don’t remember all the towns and villages we passed through getting to Wales. I have a “log” where I wrote down where we went each day, and what we saw, but there are only two entries for this particular day.   I guess those two cities, with castles, were the main focus of our day.

And so, I will tell you what we saw that day. It was so awesome…and we enjoyed ourselves so much. I have not mentioned before that one of the things that has interested me and thrilled me so much on this trip – is all the castles and ruins that we have seen that were built by the Normans! And they are still standing! Many years ago, Fred and I made a trip to Greece, and the feeling of awe that I experienced there is much the same as it was on this trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. All these structures have been in existence for hundreds and hundreds of years – and are still standing! I remember Fred sitting on the stump of a column in Athens, on the Acropolis, and knowing that those buildings were there when Jesus walked the earth…and they are still standing! We stood on Mars Hill, where Paul preached his sermon. Yes, some structures or most are in ruins, but they are still there, to remind us of what was. Amazing!

 

Fred sitting in the priests seats in Dionysus Amphitheater at the foot of the Acropolis

In any case, our first stop in Wales was in the town on Conwy. It is on the north coast of Wales. From a website on the castles of Wales, I learned:

Jeff Thomas, author:

Words cannot do justice to Conwy Castle. The best, simple description is found in the guidebook published by CADW, the Welsh Historic Trust, which states: “Conwy is by any standards one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe.” Conwy along with Harlech is probably the most impressive of all the Welsh castles. Both were designed by Edward I’s master castle builder James of St. George, and while Harlech has a more storied past, Conwy’s eight massive towers and high curtain wall are more impressive than those at Harlech.

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas – Conwy Castle

 

 Unlike Harlech however, Conwy Castle and town are surrounded by a well-preserved wall lending an additional sense of strength to the site. Conwy’s well-preserved wall helps the town maintain a medieval character lost by other Welsh castle-towns over the years. Construction of Conwy began in 1283. The castle was an important part of King Edward I’s plan of surrounding Wales in “an iron ring of castles” to subdue the rebellious population. The highly defensible wall Edward built around the town was intended to protect the English colony planted at Conwy. The native Welsh population were violently opposed to English occupation of their homeland.

 

Conwy Castle entrance and bridge

 

Mr. Thomas continues:   Conwy is a town that time has simply chosen to pass by. Despite a few modern shops, Conwy still looks very similar to the town Edward envisioned some 700 years ago. The ancient town walls, castle and simple streets offer very little to remind the visitor of the modern world. Conwy is something of a paradox. Originally a symbol of English domination of Wales, in time the Welsh managed to reclaim the town, replacing English oppression with its own medieval character. Only at Conwy and St. Davids did we get the feeling of being transported back to ancient Wales.

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

 

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

Credit Google Search and Jeffrey L. Thomas

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

America’s North Country~Trip Part 1

6 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Prolog:

 

Growing up in the Southwest (New Mexico), I have always been interested in the development of the western United States. I have visited all of the southwestern states many times, but have never ventured north. I had always wanted to visit the Western Plaines states or America’s North Country/ (as I call them), so I decided to take this opportunity to checkout this part of our beautiful country. During my research for this trip I quickly discovered that this area of our country is still pretty much wide-open and the trip was going to be much different from many of my recent trips. Whereas, I was accustomed to having multiple airplane, auto, railroad and maritime museums to choose from, I now found very few of these type museums. What seemed most prevalent in these states (Nebraska, North & South Dakota, Montana, Idaho & Wyoming) were Frontier type museums. This consisted of Historic Site & Town restorations, Pioneer Villages, Lewis & Clark Historic Sites, Territorial Prisons and Dinosaur museums. There would be a few airplane, car and railroad museums scattered along the way, but very few. What did I expect?

 

 

Day 1 (Friday)

The only city in any of the six states I was going to visit, into which I could get a non-stop flight on Southwest Airlines, was Omaha, NE. I was amazed to find the curbside check-in stand at the Orlando Airport with less than a dozen people in line to check their bags. The security check line was also minimal, and I was at the gate before I knew it.

 

 

My 2-hour, 10-minute Southwest non-stop flight from Orlando to Omaha, NE was smooth and comfortable. The Honey-Roasted peanuts were fresh and went well with two glasses of apple juice. I had brought along a couple of Roasted Almond Crunch bars to supplement the peanuts, so was not too hungry by the time we landed in Omaha.

 

 

At the rental car desk, the agent asked me where I would be traveling to, and I just picked Fargo, ND off the top of my head. I was informed that the rate I had been quoted by my travel agent would not allow me to take the car out of any state that did not border Nebraska. What kind of scam was this? What could I do? The agent said she could give me a “Commercial Rate” which would allow me to travel in any state I wished, for only $250 more! I said, “No Thanks” and went to another rental car desk. There I was able to rent a top-of-the-line car that I could travel anywhere in, for only about $40 more than my originally quoted price. That car had more “Bells & Whistles” than I knew what to do with.

 

 

With that task finally settled, and since I had gained an hour during my flight, I still had some time left to visit a few museums before they closed for the day. I headed across the Missouri River to visit my first museum. It was only about 3½ miles to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, IA. This museum, located in the old, beautifully restored, Council Bluffs Carnegie Library, has several exhibits covering the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in the years after the Pacific Railway Act was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and the ultimate growth of the Union Pacific Railroad system.

 

 

I had chosen to go to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum first because it closed early, so now I headed back across the Missouri River, to visit the Lewis & Clark Historic Trail Headquarters in Omaha, NE. I found it very interesting that this area, on the west bank of the Missouri River, was originally obtained by the U.S. Government in 1854 from the U-mo’n-Ho’n (Omaha Indians) or “upriver people.” I really had never related the word “Omaha” with an Indian tribe before. Doesn’t say much for my American History knowledge does it?

 

 

History seems to suggest that the wandering Omaha Indians established their first permanent village west of the Missouri River around 1734. I was impressed to learn that the Lewis & Clark Expedition Trail extends over 3700 miles, thru 11 states, from the St. Lewis area to Fort Clatsop in Oregon Country on the Pacific coast. As part of the Historic Trail, it is said that the Lewis & Clark Expedition traveled, camped, hunted and fished around this area. They also met and traded with the Omaha Indians, and held council with many of the Indian Chiefs in the middle Missouri River area. My travels on this trip would follow much of the northwestern portion of the original historic Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

 

 

Next it was just a short drive to where I visited the Durham Museum located in downtown Omaha. This museum is housed in the beautifully restored former Union Pacific Railway station, and has several displays depicting the early days of the Union Pacific Railway system during the growth of the city of Omaha. The museum also has a nice selection of restored rolling stock outside.

 

 

Next I visited the Omaha Memorial Park, located another few miles west of the Missouri River. This memorial park was dedicated in 1958 to honor all of the men and women from Douglas County, Nebraska who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

 

Then I drove a couple more miles to visit the Lewis & Clark Landing, located on the west bank of the Missouri River, also near downtown Omaha. The landing represents the original 1804 landing site, in the Omaha area, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition as they explored some of the vast lands (828,000 sq. miles) which made up part of the Louisiana Purchase for the U.S. Government.

 

 

As an interesting side note, there was a “labor” sculpture adjacent to the landing to honor the many men who had been a part of the lead refining industry that operated in this area, by one name or another, from 1871 to 1997.

Note: See the man with the hammer raised over his head in the photo below? When I Googled this sculpture, I came across a photo of this same sculpture during the Great Flood of 2011, showing the water level so high that only his hand and the hammer were above the water, when the Missouri River crested between 30-35 feet above normal.

 

 

Another interesting area in downtown Omaha was the Pioneer Courage Park. This park represents the many struggles and hardships the early pioneers faces on their trip west thru this area. The picture of these stalwart pioneers is beautifully rendered in several bronze action sculptures, one of which is shown below.

 

 

On my way to visit the CAF Museum in Council Bluffs, IA I happened to spot sign for the River City Star. I stopped to see what it was all about and discovered that the “Star” is a passenger excursion riverboat that sails on the Missouri River and is docked at the Miller’s Landing & Yacht Club. The Yacht Club was closed, but a group had chartered the “Star” for a party and people were going aboard.

 

 

Since I was not invited to the party, I headed back across the Missouri River to check out the CAF Museum located at the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport. Unfortunately the museum was closed by the time I got there, so I just headed for my motel located there in Council Bluffs. However, before I got to the motel, I spotted a KFC restaurant and decided to have dinner with the Colonel. Yummm! I do like his chicken. The 3-piece chicken dinner came with green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy and one of their homemade biscuits with butter and honey for dessert. I had a very happy tummy after that delicious meal.

 

 

 

 

—– To Be Continued—–

Circuitous Travel~Part 4

3 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 As an aside about Loch Lomond: Many years after this 1983 trip, Fred and I took a bus tour of England/Scotland with Fred’s parents and one of his sisters and her husband. I remember, as we passed by Loch Lomond, Fred’s parents were singing together the lovely song about the Loch, which was published in 1841. Here is the familiar chorus:

 

Oh, ye’ll tak the high road, and I’ll tak the low road,

And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye;

But me and my true love will never meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

 

As Fred read this post (he’s my first reader and gives suggestions and catches any mistakes or quirky stuff I do), he asked that I mention to you that, when he and his sister heard his parents singing this song, they both had tears in their eyes. It was a beautiful and memorable moment for them. One neither of them have forgotten.

Leaving Loch Lomond, we began our way back to Edinburgh. We passed through Luss. Of interest to me, I found on Google Search and Wikipedia:

Saint Kessog brought Christianity to Luss at some uncertain date in the ‘Dark Ages’. A number of early medieval and medieval monuments survive in the present churchyard, including simple cross-slabs which may date to as early as the 7th century AD, and a hogback grave-cover of the 11th century. A well-preserved late medieval effigy of a bishop is preserved within the modern church. The present Church of Scotland place of worship was built in 1875 by Sir James Colquhoun, in memory of his father who had drowned in the loch in December 1873. The church is noted for its online services as well as for holding over one hundred weddings per year, most from outside the parish. Luss is the ancestral home of Clan Colquhoun. [Remember – I mentioned recently that my ancestral history is the Colquhoun clan! Wish I had known that when we were on this trip!!]

Here is a picture of the Luss Parish Church. Beautiful!

 

Credit: Luss_Parish_Church_By wfmillar, CC BY-SA 2.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=14350248

 

Still within the Loch Lomond area, is Tarbert. There is a castle there, as well. Here is some information I gleaned from Google Search and Wikipedia:

The castle at Tarbert was originally an iron age fort and was subsequently fortified by Robert the Bruce. By the 18th century it was in disrepair and most of the stone was re-cycled into expanding the port and the local houses.

 

 

From Tarbert, we drove through Crianlarich. Here’s some info on it, again from Wikipedia:

Crianlarich has been a major crossroads for north and westbound journeys in Scotland since mediaeval times. In the 1750s, two military roads met in the village; in the 19th century, it became a railway junction on what is now the West Highland Line; in the 20th century it became the meeting point of the major A82 and A85 roads. As such, it is designated a primary destination in Scotland, signposted from as far as Glasgow in the south, Perth in the east, Oban in the west and Fort William in the north…. Crianlarich is very popular with hillwalkers….In 2001, the village had a population of 185.

From Crianlarich, we drove through Callander and back through Stirling, and finally back to Edinburgh and a peaceful night in St. Valery’s Guest House – our final night’s stay in that lovely B&B.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 4

27 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

After another good nights rest and breakfast at the St. Valery Guest House in Edinburgh, we took a bus tour of Edinburgh. We usually like to do that – take an official tour of whatever city we are in, then later, explore it on our own. The tour might take us to places and areas that we might not find on our own.

The tour took us to the Edinburgh Castle,

 

                                   The castle from the street below

 

                                    Main Gate to the Castle

 

                                   Battlements

 

Palace Holyrood,

 

 

St. Giles Cathedral.

 

                                  Credit Google Search

 

We were fascinated by it all. We were impressed to find a soldiers dog cemetery on the grounds.

 

 

While Fred’s ancestral family is from near Perth (actually Forgendenny in Perthshire), I’ve recently discovered that my ancestral family is from the southwest part of Scotland, Galloway. I didn’t know that then, or we might have made a special trip to that part of Scotland.

After the bus tour, we got in our car and did a driving trip around. We left Edinburgh and drove by the Firth of Forth bridges to Stirling. From Google search I found:

Stirling is a city in central Scotland. At the heart of its old town, medieval Stirling Castle is on a craggy volcanic rock. On the Abbey Craig outcrop, the National Wallace Monument is a 19th-century tower. It overlooks the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace defeated the English. The Battle of Bannockburn Experience has interactive 3D displays on the history of the 1314 conflict.

 

Here’s a picture of the Stirling Castle:

 

                          Stirling Castle – Lt.Wikipedia.org – Google search

 

We drove through Thornhill. From Google Search, I found:

Thornhill lies on the main A76 road from Dumfries to Kilmarnock as it follows Nithsdale north through the Southern Uplands. Its broad streets meet at a small roundabout on which you find the focal point of the village, the Mercat Cross [Scot for Market Cross].

The origins of Thornhill might date as far back as the Romans, who built a road through Nithsdale and a fort a little to the north at Carronbridge. By the 1600s there was an established settlement here, complete with a mill, though a wooden bridge over the River Nith built in the 1400s to provide a route to the west had already been lost in a flood.

I also found that there is a monument there to the explorer Joseph Thomson (after whom the Thomson’s Gazelle is named).

From Thornhill, we drove through the towns of Aberfoyle, Dryman, Balloch (where there is a castle situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomand), and Jamestown (which is rapidly becoming part of Balloch). Unfortunately, we apparently didn’t take any pictures of these towns.

We had wanted to see Loch Lomond, and we did, stopping only to take a few pictures.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Circuitous Travel~Part 3

20 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL – PART 3 continued

And so we left Edinburgh, went through Queensferry

 

Credit Google Search

to go over the Forth Bridge which goes over The Firth of Forth, an estuary of several Scottish rivers, and on to Dunfermline. Here are a few pictures we took of the Forth Bridge (for trains),

 

the bridge for trains and cars,

 

 

and the bridge for cars.

Again, from Wikipedia I gleaned: Dunfermline – The town was first recorded in the 11th century, with the marriage of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, and Saint Margaret at the church in Dunfermline. As his Queen consort, Margaret established a new church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which evolved into an Abbey under their son, David I in 1128. Following the burial of Alexander I in 1160, the abbey graveyard confirmed its status as the burial place of Scotland’s kings and queens up to and including Robert The Bruce in 1329.

 

We found it to be a fascinating place to see. The ruins are beautiful, as is the current church, which is still in use.

 

The Church yard

 

Abbey & Palace – credit BikELove

 

Abbey & Palace – credit Historic Environment Scotland

 

Credit Google Search and TripAdvisor

From Dunfermline, we drove to Falkland Palace and Garden. Here are a few pictures we took there.

 

Palace entrance

 

Falkland Palace

 

From the Falkland Palace website, I found: Falkland was the country retreat of the Stewart kings and queens of Scotland, located within easy reach of Edinburgh, yet far enough distant to provide a welcome escape. Here the royal court could indulge in hawking and hunting, plus more genteel recreations like archery. Falkland boasts the oldest real (or ‘royal’) tennis court in the world, built in 1539 for James V.

The Falkland Gardens are quite beautiful, but are relatively new, being laid out in 1947.

From Falkland Palace and Garden, we finally arrived in St. Andrews on the coast.

 

 

After wandering around the golf course and the original golf club house, we purchased some goodies for ourselves as mementoes. We purchased a cashmere scarf; I purchased some Gunn Clan pins (Fred is a direct descendent of the Gunn Clan);

 

Credit Google Search

 

Fred purchased a Gunn Clan tie, which he still wears proudly. Here is a swatch of the Gunn Clan tartan. We think it is quite beautiful.

 

 

We were told there, that when a Scot female marries, she is not allowed to wear her husband’s tartan. She is always associated with her father’s tartan. Interesting.

We returned to Edinburgh, where we walked around the town a bit and shopped, as well. I purchased a Gunn Clan book; a Gunn Clan pin and necklace; and one meter of the Gunn Clan tartan. I intended to make some garment for our daughters. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t get that done until this past Christmas. I made a long scarf for each of them, with self fringe. They are delighted with it.

Also in all of this shopping – especially for the tartan, I discovered that I have a family tartan, as well. It is the Colquhoun Clan – very similar to our American word/name of Calhoun. The tartan is very similar to the Gunn tartan, with similar colors. I think it’s pretty, as well.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Circuitous Travel~Part 3

13 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Circuitous travel, continued – last time I told you about how much we had enjoyed our time looking around the ruins of Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, England. In preparing for today’s episode, I found more pictures of Fountains Abbey, and would like to share some of them with you. If you ever get to England, this is a really neat place to visit.

 

Most of our day, following our stay overnight in Durham, was traveling. I have no pictures that we took of Durham, or Newcastle – and none until we arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here are a couple pictures of our room in the St. Valery’s Guest House.

 

 

 

It was a lovely place, and we stayed several nights there. It was managed by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Shannon. We had the good fortune to look out our room window one morning to capture this. They were still using a horse-drawn cart to deliver milk! Wonderful!

 

 

One funny incident – perhaps not funny at the time – happened there: One morning, Karen got up early and went to get her shower, before Janet woke up. When Karen went to go back into her room – the door was locked! And she had forgotten to take a key with her!! Since the girl’s room was next to ours, Fred began knocking on the wall next to their room, and eventually began knocking on the door, hoping to wake Janet up. After an excruciating 45 minutes of knocking, Mr. Shannon came up the stairs and asked if there was a “problem.” Fortunately, he had a key and let Karen in the room. Janet looked up, bleary-eyed and confused – and had not heard a single knock! She was a really hard sleeper! Karen never forgot the key after that!

The following morning we took a bus tour to St. Andrews. It was, essentially, an all-day tour, lasting from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Fred is a great fan of golf, so this was to be a special tour for him – to see where golf originated.

While there is some controversy about the origins of golf, I gleaned from Wikipedia:   The modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II’s banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503-1504: “For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with”. To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, which is certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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